Robert E. Plaze is a partner in the Washington office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Mr. Plaze counsels investment advisers, investment companies (and their boards of directors) and other industry service providers on regulatory and compliance matters arising under the federal securities laws. Before joining Stroock, he served as Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his nearly 30 years of service with the Commission, Mr. Plaze was responsible for policy development and management of many of the key regulatory initiatives during that period affecting investment companies and investment advisers under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, including rules governing fund and adviser compliance programs, money market funds, fund corporate governance, personal trading, custody and brokerage practices, and prohibitions on “pay to play” practices.
Mr. Plaze is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, and serves as Chairman of its Investment Management Committee. His listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Plaze received both his AB and JD degrees from Georgetown University.
Robert Zakem (Bob) is a Director in the Investment Management Regulatory and Compliance practice. Bob has over 20 years of financial services experience, and specializes in in the design, implementation, and testing of Compliance and Supervisory Programs for investment companies, investment advisers, and broker-dealers, including policies and procedures, processes, and controls.
During the course of his career, Bob has served in senior legal, compliance or risk roles at AIG/SunAmerica, UBS Financial Services, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (including CCO of Merrill Lynch Alternative Investments), and most recently as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of RidgeWorth Capital Management.
Bob has been an industry leader participating on panels at numerous conferences over the course of his career. Most recently he served as Chair of the Investment Company Institute’s Chief Compliance Officer Committee and of its Intermediary Oversight Working Group, and was a member of its SEC Rules Committee.
Areas of Practice
Melanie Nussdorf is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe, where she is a member of the Tax and Employee Benefits groups.
Her practice spans the entire range of employee benefits, from the tax-based rules for qualified pension plans, to fiduciary issues, welfare benefits, and plan termination. Ms. Nussdorf's particular focus over the last several years has been fiduciary issues, including prohibited transaction exemption questions under ERISA, especially in connection with financial products and services. Ms. Nussdorf represents a number of financial institutions including major banks, investment advisers,brokerage firms, and insurance companies. In addition, she has particular experience in all aspects of the plan termination process, including issues of employer liability for poorly funded plans terminating in or outside of a bankruptcy proceeding. She has done substantial work on ERISA issues relating to hedge funds and private equity vehicles. She also has substantial experience with the exemption and advisory opinion process under ERISA and has worked extensively on legislative issues related to ERISA.
Ms. Nussdorf was counsel for age and sex discrimination at the Department of Labor prior to serving as Executive Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor from 1977-81. During this period, she had significant oversight responsibility for the department's legal work under ERISA. From 1981-84, she served as Special Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Select Seminars & Events
“Other Regulatory Regimes Affecting the Investment Management Industry,” PLI’s Investment Management Institute 2013
"Pension Plan Investment: Current Perspectives," Practising Law Institute's Conference, April 5, 2011
"ERISA Fiduciary Basics," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 23, 2011
"Investment Management Institute," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 10, 2011
"CFTC’s Proposed Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers: Costs and Consequences to Swap Dealers and Plans," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, January 25, 2011
"DOL’s Proposed Significant Expansion of the Fiduciary Definition," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, November 19, 2010
Expanded Roth Conversion Opportunity for Retirement Plan Participants
ERISA Advisory - $36.9 Million Awarded in ERISA Class Action Challenging Investment Selection and Compensation Paid to 401(k) Plan Recordkeeper
ERISA Advisory - Department of Labor Releases 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Regulations
ERISA Advisory - CFTC Announces New Swap Rules
ERISA Advisory - Labor Department Issues Final Regulations Addressing Provision of Investment Advice to Participants and Beneficiaries of Self-Directed Individual Account Plans and IRAs
ERISA Advisory - Proposed Regulation Redefining Fiduciary
ERISA Advisory - ERISA Advisory Council Makes Stable Value Fund Recommendations to Labor Department
Melanie Nussdorf Quoted in Pensions & Investments about Revamped Rules for Offering Investment Advice
Joseph is an Assistant Regional Director in the SEC’s New York Regional Office’s Investment Adviser/Investment Company examination program. Joseph started his career with the New York Regional Office as a Securities Compliance Examiner in 1986. Joseph was promoted to Branch Chief in 1990 and promoted to his current role in 1994. Joseph has supervised numerous examinations that have led to significant enforcement cases of investment advisers and investment companies. In June of 2014 Joseph was awarded the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award. This is the Commission’s highest honor and recognizes Joseph’s lifetime of major contributions to the work of the Commission. Joseph is a graduate of Hofstra University.
Barry P. Barbash is a co-head of the firm’s Asset Management Group and has been a practitioner in the asset management area for over 35 years. He combines deep private practice experience with extensive knowledge of the regulation of the asset management business, having, among other things, served from September 1993 until October 1998, as the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management.
Mr. Barbash has a diverse practice covering all aspects of the asset management business. He regularly advises investment managers and fiduciaries, independent directors and trustees, and mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, hedge fund, private equity fund and venture capital fund clients on a variety of transactional, compliance and regulatory matters. His areas of expertise include investment adviser operations, compliance procedures and policies and fund governance matters. He regularly represents buyers and sellers in asset management merger and acquisition transactions and restructurings and advises asset managers of all types in connection with administrative and court actions brought by securities regulators. He has particular experience and expertise dealing with “status” issues arising under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has, in addition to serving as the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, held staff attorney positions with the Division of Investment Management and the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has responsibility for the administration of the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the U.S. federal employee benefit plans law. His practice has been focused on investment advisers, fiduciaries and securities regulation since 1978.
Mr. Barbash received a JD from Cornell Law School in 1978, and an AB (summa cum laude) from Bowdoin College in 1975.
Selected Significant Matters
David Grim (B.A., Duke University; J.D., George Washington University) is a partner at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, LLP in Washington DC. Dave has spent more than 20 years in public service at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, joining the Division directly from law school and rising to become its leader, serving as Director. He is a recognized leader in the asset management industry, having developed a legacy of regulatory policy for investment advisers and investment companies, including mutual funds, exchange traded funds, closed-end funds, business development companies, unit investment trusts, and variable insurance products, and oversaw the Division’s relationships with other key functions at the SEC, including the Division of Enforcement and the National Exam Program. Prior to his appointment as Director, Dave served in a number of capacities throughout the Division, including Deputy Director and Assistant Chief Counsel. While at the SEC, Dave was awarded the Supervisory Excellence Award, Capital Markets Award, as a member of the Asset-Backed Securities Rulemaking Team, Law & Policy Award for Dodd Frank implementation, and the Asset-Management Relations Award for leadership of Division reorganization.
Igor Rozenblit co-leads the Private Funds Unit at the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The Private Funds Unit is dedicated to building expertise in and conducting examinations of advisers to private equity, hedge and other private funds. Previously, he was part of the Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit.
Before joining the SEC, Igor managed the North American private equity funds portfolio of a large financial institution. Earlier, he was a private equity investment professional focused on investing in middle market companies.
Igor received a BS from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Lori A. Martin is partner in the Securities and Litigation/Controversy departments of WilmerHale, where she is resident in the New York office. She handles regulatory proceedings and litigation on behalf of investment advisers, open and closed-end investment companies, hedge funds, and broker dealers offering investment advisory services. She was selected as the “Mutual Funds Law Lawyer of the Year” in the New York area by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2014 and 2020. Prior to joining WilmerHale, she was First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.
Her publications include: “Litigation Under the Investment Company Act of 1940,” Vol. 2, Chapter 26 Mutual Fund Regulation (Practicing Law Institute, 2017) (Clifford E. Kirsch, ed.); “Supreme Court Endorses Gartenberg, But It's Not the Same Old Standard,” WilmerHale Client Alert (April 5, 2010) (with Matthew A. Chambers); “Enforcement Trends and Themes,” Investment Management Institute (Practicing Law Institute, 2007-2019); “State Regulators and the Mutual Fund Industry,” 39 The Review o/Securities & Commodities Regulation 219 (Nov. 15, 2006) (with Cristina Alger); and “Emails and the Recordkeeping Obligations of Investment Advisers,” 12 The Investment Lawyer 16 (February 2005).
Ms. Martin's recent speeches include: "Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends," panel presentation at the Investment Management Institute 2019 conference, sponsored by the Practising Law Institute (New York, New York) (March 22, 2019) ; “Excessive Fee Litigation, Contract Renewal and Share Class Developments,” panel presentation at the PLI Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies 2018 conference (New York, New York) (May 14, 2018); “Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends,” panel presentation at the PLI Investment Management Institute 2018 conference (New York, New York) (April 30, 2018); “Key Legal and Regulatory Issues: Asset Management,” panel presentation at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Regional Seminar (Boston, Massachusetts) (June 7, 2017); and “Valuation Issues, SEC Examinations & Enforcement Actions,” panel presentation on a webinar co-sponsored by Deloitte & WilmerHale (June 19, 2013).
Ms. Martin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1988, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1985.
Maria Gattuso has over 25 years of experience in financial services and leads Deloitte’s Financial Services Regulatory Remediation practice. She focuses on regulatory and compliance matters for Deloitte’s investment management and wealth clients including investment advisers, wealth managers, broker dealers, mutual fund complexes, BDCs, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Representative engagements include large scale remediation projects involving forensic and data analysis, calculating investor harm, rule implementation (including Reg BI, DOL and the mutual fund liquidity rule) and performing gap analyses against regulatory requirements and controls assessments, including in connection with SEC enforcement actions and deficiency letters and FINRA investigations. She has also assisted clients with assessing legal and compliance departments for efficiencies and modernization, impact analyses of structuring alternatives around different operating models, mock exams and regulatory analytics.
Over her 25-year career, Maria has acquired extensive experience on a broad range of issues and transactions affecting clients in the investment management industry. In her prior role as outside counsel, she has significant experience advising on the creation and operation of open end and closed end funds, ETFs, business development companies, hedge funds, managed account platforms as well as on transactional matters such as fund mergers, fund adoptions and adviser acquisitions. She has advised clients on a broad range of topics, including with respect to regulatory, compliance and fund governance matters, structuring alternatives, new product development and alternative fund structures (including registered and unregistered master/feeder and fund-of-funds structures and BDCs), status issues and obtaining exemptive relief and no-action relief.
Maria serves as a co-chairperson of the 100 women in hedge fundsTM Legal Peer Advisory Group and has co-chaired the Women’s Investment Management Forum. She has served as an adjunct professor of law of Georgetown University Law Center, where she has taught classes on investment management law.
Maria regularly participates in conference panels, including those sponsored by the Investment Company Institute, NICSA and Practicing Law Institute regarding important issues affecting the asset management industry. Topics presented on have included compliance related matters, Regulation Best Interest, the DOL Fiduciary Rule, Mutual Fund Modernization, Liquidity Rule, Pay-to-Play regulations, registration requirements for investment advisers, registered closed end funds and business development companies.
Maria is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to joining Deloitte in 2015, Ms. Gattuso was most recently a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Prior to that, she was a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP.
Paul F. Roye is a senior vice president and senior counsel of the Fund Business Management Group of Capital Research and Management Company ("Capital Research"); director of Capital Research; member of Capital Research Executive Committee; vice chairman and trustee of the Capital Group Private Client Services Funds, Capital Group Emerging Markets Total Opportunities Fund and Emerging Markets Growth Fund, Inc.; executive vice president, principal executive officer and trustee of Washington Mutual Investors Fund; executive vice president and principal executive officer of Growth Fund of America, American Funds Fundamental Investors and SMALLCAP World Fund; and senior vice president of American Balanced Fund, The Income Fund of America and Investment Company of America.
Prior to joining Capital Research in 2005, he was Director of the Division of lnvestment Management for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he worked for three SEC Chairman and was among the most senior financial services regulators in the United States, with principal oversight for the investment management industry and public utility holding companies. During his tenure, he received the Chairman's Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an SEC staff member. Prior to becoming director, he was a member of the Washington office of the law firm of Dechert, where he was a partner in the firm's Financial Services, lnvestment Management and Corporate Securities Practice Group, specializing in the area of institutional investor law. His practice involved providing advice and assistance to a wide variety of domestic and foreign investment companies, as well as investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies.
Paul holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He also holds an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Paul serves on the Investor Issues Committee of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni and Friends of the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association.
Paul is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Phillip S. Gillespie joined SSGA in June 2008 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In that role, Phil is responsible for the global legal affairs of SSgA and oversees a team of experienced attorneys, paralegals and assistants located in Boston, London, Paris, Tokyo, Montreal, Hong Kong and Sydney. He is a member of SSgA's Executive Management Group.
Phil joined SSgA from OppenheimerFunds, Inc. (OFI) where he was Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and responsible for the day-to-day operations of OFI's Legal Department. Prior to joining OFI in 2004, Phil was First Vice President - Legal Advisory at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), where he managed a team of attorneys and paralegals providing legal services and oversight for MLIM's U.S. based investment teams, operations and its U.S. registered fund business.
From 1993 to 1997, Phil was an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its Washington, D.C. headquarters holding posts as Senior Counsel in the Legal Policy and Counseling Group of the SEC's Office of the General Counsel and as Senior Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel of the SEC's Division of Investment Management.
Prior to joining the SEC, Phil was an associate in the corporate finance practice of the Seattle law firm, Perkins Coie, and started his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles Clark, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Phil is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and earned his JD, magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School. He is a native of the state of Mississippi.
Sean M. Murphy, a partner in the New York office of Milbank LLP and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group, is a trusted advisor to some of the largest financial institutions in the country. He is known for successfully defending clients in complex securities cases involving multi-jurisdictional class action and derivative litigation under state and federal securities laws, including claims under the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Investment Company Act of1940. He has extensive experience representing investment advisers and mutual fund boards in litigation and regulatory investigations. And he represents clients in regulatory and enforcement proceedings before the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and state regulators.
Mr. Murphy’s formidable and highly respected defense practice includes the representation of Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, Capital Group, AllianceBernstein, American Century, Dodge & Cox, Dreyfus, Federated Investors, First Trust Advisers, Great West Financial, the Hartford, Legg Mason, AXA, Neuberger Berman, Prudential, Putnam, Royal Bank of Canada, Russell Investments, Salomon Smith Barney, Voya Investments and Waddell & Reed among others.
He has earned recognition in Chambers, American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation and Legal 500 for defending clients in some of their most sensitive business matters. Specifically, the directories, which rely heavily on client feedback, have honored Mr. Murphy among the “Top 100 trial lawyers in America,” the “Fab Fifty” list of the top 50 litigators in the country, and he has been identified as one of the leading lawyers for shareholder litigation anywhere in the nation. Mr. Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie R. Breslow is co-head of the Investment Management Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She maintains a diverse practice that includes liquid funds, private equity funds and the structuring of investment management businesses. She focuses her practice on the formation of private equity funds (including LBO, mezzanine, distressed, real estate, litigation finance and venture) and liquid-securities funds (including hedge funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and activist funds) as well as providing regulatory advice to investment managers. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with seed-capital investments in fund managers and acquisitions of interests in investment management businesses and funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investment activities, including blockchain technology and virtual currency offerings and transactions.
Recently serving as chair of the Private Investment Funds Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, Stephanie is a founding member and former chair of the Private Investment Fund Forum, a member of the Advisory Board of former Third Way Capital Markets Initiative, a former member of the Board of Directors and current member of 100 Women in Finance, a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie has received the highest industry honors. She was named to the inaugural Legal 500 US Hall of Fame in the category of “Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.” Stephanie is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Crain’s Notable Women in Law, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (which ranked her one of the world’s “Top Ten Private Equity Lawyers”), Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (which ranked her at the top of the world’s “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” list), Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Global Elite, Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Private Funds, Expert Guide to the Best of the Best USA, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law and PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, among other leading directories. Stephanie was named the “Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2014 and the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s “Best in Investment Funds” and “Outstanding Practitioner,” both at the Americas Women in Business Law Awards. She is also recognized as one of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds and was named one of the 2012 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie’s representation of leading private investment funds has won numerous awards, including most recently Law360’s Asset Management Practice Group of the Year. She is a much sought-after speaker on fund formation and operation and compliance issues, and she regularly publishes articles on the latest trends in these areas. Stephanie co-authored Private Equity Funds: Formation and Operation (Practising Law Institute), co-authored Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press), contributed a chapter on “Hedge Fund Investment in Private Equity” for inclusion in PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook 2005/06 (Practical Law Company), contributed a chapter on “Advisers to Private Equity Funds — Practical Compliance Considerations” for Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds Regulation, Volume 2 (Practising Law Institute), and wrote New York and Delaware Business Entities: Choice, Formation, Operation, Financing and Acquisitions (West) and New York Limited Liability Companies: A Guide to Law and Practice (West).
Stephanie received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University.
Susan Olson is general counsel of the Investment Company Institute, serving as the Institute's chief legal officer, with responsibility for the full range of legal and regulatory matters affecting the Institute and its members. She joined ICI as senior counsel, international affairs, in 2007, and also served as chief counsel of ICI Global.
Before joining ICI, Olson served in the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the SEC, Olson worked in the international branch of the division’s Office of the Chief Counsel, where she resolved legal issues arising under the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act and provided guidance for trade negotiations. She also participated as an SEC representative on the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) Standing Committee 5, focusing on the regulation of mutual funds and other collective investment vehicles.
Before joining the Commission, Olson worked in private practice. She received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her law degree from the University of Virginia.
Jason Bortz is a senior vice president and senior counsel at Capital Group, the investment manager to the American Funds. He has been practicing law for 20 years. Throughout his career, Jason has worked on tax and retirement plan issues. Prior to joining Capital, Jason was a partner with Davis & Harman, LLP in Washington, D.C. Before that, he was a law clerk for a federal court of appeals judge. He holds a juris doctorate degree from Cornell Law School and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. He is a contributing author to several books, including the 403(b) Answer Book, the Annuities Answer Book, The Complete Guide to Nonprofits and BNA’s Tax Management Portfolio on Cash or Deferred Arrangements. He is a member of the California, New York and Washington, D.C. bars. Jason is based in Los Angeles.
John is an attorney in Legal and Compliance. He currently leads the US Capital Markets team, which has primary responsibility for matters relating to Wellington Management’s capital markets activities. John is vice-chair of the firm’s Trading Policy Review Group and a member of the firm’s Corporate Governance Committee.
Prior to joining Wellington Management in 2004, John worked at MFS Investment Management, where he was senior counsel with responsibility for legal issues in the firm’s fund distribution and investment compliance areas and supported the firm’s offshore fund business (2001 – 2004). Prior to MFS, he practiced securities law at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP (1995 – 2000).
John earned both his JD (1995), cum laude, and his BA (1992), magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College.
Michael Sackheim is senior counsel in the New York office of Sidley Austin LLP where he concentrates on derivatives regulatory, transactional and enforcement matters. Michael is a past Chair of the New York City Bar Derivatives Regulation Committee, and he is the managing editor of Futures & Derivatives Law Report (Thomson Reuters, publ.). Michael is also the co-editor of a new legal treatise, The Virtual Currency Regulation Review (November 2018, Law Business Research Ltd).
Philip L. Kirstein was the Independent Compliance Officer and Senior Officer to the Boards of the AllianceBernstein U.S. registered investment companies from October 2003 until December 31, 2017. Previously, he was the General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, LP (formerly Merrill Lynch Asset Management) from May 1984 through March 2003 and was Of Counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP from October 2003 until October 2004.
Mr. Kirstein is a member of the New York City Bar Committee on the Investment of Funds and a past Chair of the New York City Bar Committee on Investment Management Regulation. He is also a former member of the American Bar Association Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers; and a former member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ICI Mutual Insurance Company and the Planning Committee of the Investment Company Institute/Federal Bar Association Mutual Fund Conference.
Mr. Kirstein was a member of the Independent Directors Council Task Force that prepared the Board Oversight of Fund Compliance Report. He is a frequent panelist at conferences regarding investment company legal, compliance and regulatory issues.
Mr. Kirstein is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), College of Law, Syracuse University and School of Law, New York University.
Mr. Kirstein is a former member of the Board of Directors of Cancer Care of New Jersey and a former member of the board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Central and South Jersey affiliate. He is currently on the Investment Committee of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc. He retired as a Captain of the United States Naval Reserve.
W. Danforth Townley is an Attorney Fellow in the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in New York and Washington, D.C. Mr. Townley participates in rulemaking activities of the Division and provides advice on policy initiatives affecting the asset management industry. Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Townley was a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, advising clients on the structuring and offering of hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles and advising on regulatory compliance with the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act. Mr. Townley has been practicing in New York City for most of his career; he also worked for several years in the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices of Davis Polk. Mr. Townley received his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1985 and graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in History in 1979. He clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet from 1985-86.